State v. Milto
Louisiana Court of Appeal
751 So. 2d 271 (1999)
Jason Milto (defendant) was driving in his car with Gregory Mitchell when police officer Kevin O’Neill stopped the car for a license-plate violation. O’Neill saw Mitchell take a gun from the glove compartment and place it under the seat. O’Neill subsequently found bullets in the glove compartment. Mitchell initially said that the gun was his, but he later changed his story and said that Milto owned the gun. Mitchell’s coworker, Oscar Patrick, told police that Milto had previously showed Patrick the gun and purchased bullets for the gun at the K-Mart where Patrick and Mitchell worked. Patrick also said that he saw Milto load the gun. The State of Louisiana (plaintiff) charged Milto with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. At Milto’s trial, Patrick testified that Milto showed him the gun. However, Patrick also testified that he did not think that he saw Milto load the gun. Patrick recognized that he initially told the police that he saw Milto load the gun; he said that his prior statement could be true, but that he could not remember Milto’s actions by the time of trial over a year later. Milto’s counsel attacked Patrick’s credibility by suggesting that Patrick had a motive to lie because Patrick did not want Mitchell to get in trouble at work and because Mitchell was the assistant manager at the K-Mart. By the time of trial, Patrick and Mitchell had not worked together for a year, and there was no evidence that the two had remained in contact. The prosecution offered Patrick’s statement into evidence as a prior consistent statement to rehabilitate Patrick’s credibility. The trial court admitted the statement into evidence. The jury found Milto guilty, and he appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Parro, J.)
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